This message holds a lot of weight for me because it comes from you. This is one of the first things I noticed about you when we met. You have an uncanny (or perhaps simply intentional) ability to make the person to whom you're speaking feel like the most important and interesting person in the room. I often find myself distracted (mentally, tangibly or both) when talking with others. There are times when I'm not even sure what the person has said because my mind is somewhere else. This is especially common when students stop by my office (which is pretty much all day, every day) to chat about something when I'm attempting to work my way through my daily to do list. I always regret the missed opportunity to truly connect. I'm going to attempt to be intentional in these engagements. I know from experience that students will notice.
Discover Your Perfect Audience
An audience of one can be all you need, for the most important conversation in your life.
We all have a “most important person”. Perhaps it’s a spouse or partner, or a team leader. Maybe it’s a new customer, or a current customer, who could be your perfect audience. Maybe your most important person is your attorney (and, if so, good luck with everything after you get done reading this post). Making the most out of your next conversation means that you have to recognize your perfect audience. Sometimes you don’t have to look any further than the person right in front of you.
The perfect audience is here, right now: an audience of one.
Important conversations all start with one key element. Here’s the secret to making every audience matter, as you deliver your message. An excerpt from The NEW Elevator Pitch.
Recognition: What does it mean to you? We all have a desire for recognition in some way – but what about the way that you provide it to others?
Think about a time or an event – maybe it was a ride on the subway, or a meeting at Starbucks. Did you really recognize the person right in front of you?
Only as we remember the “event” (a past conversation, a chance encounter, a ride on a plane) considering the past in our minds’ eye, do we really seem to see what’s going on with the person right in front of us.
Thinking about the “who” in front of you doesn’t have to be an elaborate process. Remember that person that you saw at breakfast, or your friend that you met for lunch yesterday. What was their mood? How did they seem to be doing? Rarely does anyone answer, “I have no idea!”
Recognition is an important talent – and one that we all possess, even for an audience of one.
Each of us has the ability to reflect and consider the person (or people) we are speaking to – yet we rarely use it. While some have higher abilities to empathize than others (also called an “EQ” or emotional intelligence), we all have the ability to recognize our surroundings.
My question for you is: how often do you use your “super-powers” of human perception… even for an audience of one?
Have you stopped to consider how you can let someone know that they are important to you?
We are all dominated by other thoughts, issues, concerns and a self-absorbed nature (“What’s in it for me?” is universal). That self-centered focus causes us to rarely reflect on what we all see and hear.
Yet, everyone is wired to observe and report – we can always tune in to other folks, if we choose to. The first step in creating an authentic connection is by really recognizing the audience of one.